5 reasons anger is bad for your health

Nirmalya Dutta, The Health Site
February 6, 2014

30-year-old Jagannath was a very passionate person and he had trouble controlling his emotions which meant he would often lash out at friends and colleagues, even his boss. He would lose control whenever he perceived incompetence and this got him in major trouble with the powers-that-be. He also started feeling shortness of breath, would get headaches and had trouble sleeping at night. When he finally went to meet a doctor he was informed that he needed to rein in his anger or suffer serious repercussions health-wise. Here are some reasons anger is bad for your health:

It is bad for your heart
We’re not making this up; numerous studies have shown that anger can actually up your risk of suffering a heart attack. A Harvard Medical School study found that the angriest men were three times likelier to suffer from a heart or blood vessel disease than those who are of a calmer disposition. [1] Studies have also shown that extreme emotion or anger increased stroke risk in susceptible individuals 14 times!  [2] Read about the 10 things that happen to your body when you’ve a heart attack.

It literally makes your blood boil
While most scientists are still trying to figure out exactly how anger raises your blood pressure it has been seen that anger and hostility activates the evolutionarily innate ‘fight or flight response’ in most humans which leads to increased adrenaline and cortisol which pumps you’re your heart rate. This in turn leads to increased blood pressure and the problem is compounded by blood vessels constricting. [3] Read about the the herbal remedies for hypertension.

It can seriously impair your judgement
One of the major problems when you’re angry is that you cognitive skills get impaired, that your mental health gets affected. It makes the consequences look insignificant and you can actually process less information. It makes you more prejudiced about others and hinders your analytical skills. This often leads you doing things that you wouldn’t in normal circumstances and will cause you to regret your actions when you look back. [4]

It can actually give you headache
When you’re angry, stress causes your neck and scalp muscles to tense up which causes a tight band-like sensation around the head which causes something the medicos like to call a tension headache. You can fix this issue by a simply massaging your head and taking deep breaths. [5]

It can make your seriously depressed
It’s still not clear whether anger causes depression or vice-versa but those suffering from depression tend to display bouts of anger from time to time.  It also leads to all the aforementioned physiological conditions which can only aggravate the chances of getting depressed. Angeralso leads to insomnia and stress; things that are likelier to make you depressed. [6] That’s why it’s far better to control your anger. Read why understand depression is half the battle won.

Some tips to beat anger

Take a time-out
Like we mentioned before, when we’re angry we tend to do things that we’ll later regret. The best thing to do during a particularly angry phase is to simply walk-away and deal with the situation later with a cool head.

Count to 10
Another great way to get over that red mist is to take some time. You can do this by mentally counting to 10 before speaking. This time will give you the time to coolly consider the ramifications of your words and action.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna regards anger, greed and lust as signs of ignorance and perpetual bondage and it is necessary to let go of these emotions to find inner peace. Meditation is not just great for calming your mind, it has immense health benefits as well.

Exercising isn’t just great for your body, it also makes you happier thanks to the dopamine it releases in the brain. Also it’ll let you release all the pent-up anger in a more productive way.

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